A viewers final impression of a series can depend heavily on their initial expectations of it. As the saying goes expect nothing and youll never be disappointed. I went into Harukana Receive expecting nothing but what was promised on the cover and I came away with everything I wanted and a little bit more too. Does this series stand out amongst the many other fanservice/sports anime out there? Not really. But theres something beautiful about an anime that does what it sets out to do in the best way possible without trying too hard to be more than what it really is and potentially sending the plot in a cringeworthy direction. If you want a quaint heartwarming sightforsoreeyes sports story with no pointless frills or bells and whistles attached then I would say this is the one for you. Premise 3/5: As with most sports anime theres legitimately nothing in the setting that viewers might consider anything approaching complicated. There are no branching subplots to keep track of. The story follows a very linear bottomtotop comingofage progression that doesnt try to throw you for a loop and introduce twists and turns for the sake of artificial complexity. Some people might find that offputting but considering that 99 of the shows total budget probably went into the audiovisuals you might expect the anime to simply follow the yellow brick road never trying to get off the beaten track. And to its credit that works perfectly well. The anime is set in the idyllic environs of Okinawa with a few flashes to mainland Japan and the USA here and there. Its the perfect location for beach volleyball and nothing about the school the home setting or the venues of the various beach volleyball tournaments suggests otherwise. Simple yet effective. 600https://i.ur.com/VSo7bv1.jpg The perfect place for a match. Characters 4/5: Its difficult to find a sports anime that doesnt have at least one obnoxious character usually a rival spoiling the show by being as horrible to the protagonists as humanely possible. Thankfully Harukana Receive perhaps due to its more easygoing nature doesnt seem to have such a problem with the possible exception of Sunagawa Mai the arrogant midget who Haruka and Kanata face in their first ever official match though she also becomes a lot more bearable later on. None of the characters are all that multifaceted in terms of personality though they compensate for this lack of depth with a focus on figurative growth. Each of them has a set of interconnected personal issues that they seek to overcome Kanata for example starts off with uncertainty about her height which leads into her broken promise with her childhood friend which leads into concerns about her style of play and so on and so forth. What was of particular interest was the way in which the beach volleyball club interacted during the climax when they were pitted against each other in the finals of the preliminaries. There was a lot of bittersweetness both in victory and in defeat something which spoke to the unseen bonds formed between the five girls in a subtle yet deeply touching manner. Ultimately the moral of the story is as always the triumph of friendship and willpower over the obstacles one faces. And I wouldnt have it any other way. 600https://i.ur.com/NwCkGoU.jpg A likeable and sympathetic cast. Audiovisuals 5/5: A show that is promoted chiefly on the basis of its fanservice can hardly expect not to have at least a decent amount of effort expended towards that regard. Yet Harukana Receive goes above and beyond the call of duty its background art is of such high quality that it almost steals the show from the main attraction. The animation is decent with a little clunkiness here and there but nothing that takes away from the general feeling and smoothness of the action. The eyecandy is good though in all honesty its a little bit restrained for an anime thats purely about babes in swimsuits doing sporty things. But I cant complain as long as whats already there is done well which it is. The soundtrack a thoroughly thematic beach and summerstyled repertoire of music is something of a hidden gem and one that Id actually like to have a more indepth listen to if the chance arrives. Its never so overpowering that the drama feels overblown but it always manages to hum along underneath the surface setting the tone for the tension that accompanies it and fading away during the quieter and more relaxed moments. The OP and ED are catchy and fun to watch and set the scene well for the rest of the episode. 600https://i.ur.com/w6BJ8mq.jpg No explanation needed. Execution 4/5: The bread and butter of any sports anime is as aforementioned the development of its characters. This often takes the form of flashbacks which if overdone can feel corny and annoying taking away from whats expected to be a tense or touching moment. There are many flashbacks in Harukana Receive a necessity given that the relationships between the characters are unexpectedly storied nevertheless very rarely do any of them feel overly outofplace or inyourface. They are serenaded in at relatively optimal times some of them repeating segments of previous flashbacks so as to provide further clarification regarding a previouslyunexplained plot point. Harukana Receive puts a lot of disparate and volatile pieces together in a satisfyingly straightforward and stable way. Each individual facet of the anime has the potential to ruin it completely as an example fanservice can be tiresome if its too ubiquitous even if fanservice is the whole point of the anime to begin with but that fortunately doesnt occur. Its nowhere near close to being eyeopening or inspiring in any sense but Harukana Receive is the ideal anime to watch on a calm Friday night with a beer and a pizza by your side a setting which might be especially familiar to many given recent circumstances. Its feelgood its exciting and its touching. Above all its a lot of fun. 600https://i.ur.com/313jSIR.jpg Love overcomes all obstacles. Overall rating: 4/5
75 /100
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